Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)
Submitted by Greta de Groat
Stanford University Libraries
CC:DA discussions and actions at ALA Midwinter 2008 in Philadelphia.
Work on RDA is proceeding on schedule with a targeted release date of early 2009. In a press release after the JSC meeting in October, the Library of Congress, the British Library, the Library and Archives Canada, and the National Library of Australia stated their support for RDA and agreed on a coordinated implementation in late 2009 and would work together on such matters as training, documentation, and any national application decisions. Though the final report of the LC Working Group on Bibliographic Control recommended suspension of work on RDA until FRBR is more fully tested, LC staff (as of ALA anyway) have not been informed of any change in LC’s participation in the RDA process, are operating with the assumption that the process is going forward as planned. Some Big Heads attendees were told that LC administration was going to discuss this after ALA. Given the mixed messages from LC, it is difficult as of this writing to know exactly how active their participation will be in future.
The JSC reorganized the contents of RDA again to relate data elements more closely to FRBR entities and user tasks. It will have 10 sections (37 chapters) that focus first on recording attributes for FRBR and FRAD entities and then on recording relationships between entities. As has been noted by many reviewers, much of the text of RDA is identical to AACR2. However, the context has been greatly changed, and understanding a rule in AACR2 does not necessarily mean that one will understand the RDA version of the rule. As Barbara Tillett noted at CC:DA, it is very difficult to simplify wording without introducing ambiguity. For the current RDA prospectus and draft outline of chapters, see
and for the RDA scope and structure document, see
RDA is not tied to any specific record structure. The JSC has provided three implementation scenarios that RDA must support: a scenario for flat records, a scenario for combination of current (i.e. Marc21 compliant) bibliographic, authority, and holdings records, and a scenario for a relational/object oriented database structure which includes records for work, expression, manifestation, item, and a type of record for persons/places/concepts, etc. Though MARBI is discussing implementation issues, there is now an admission that a new, post-MARC data format is necessary to implement the optimal (relational/object oriented) scenario. Due to time constraints, however, initial implementation will surely be Marc21 with as many modifications as can be made by the implementation rollout. For the RDA implementation scenarios, see
CC:DA discussions January 2008
CC:DA met three times at ALA Midwinter, with most business concerning the RDA draft and the report of the JSC representative. This latest draft concerns identifying and recording attributes of works, persons, families, corporate bodies. There are more attributes than are recorded in current MARC21 authority records. This is the last new material to be issued before July, when the final draft including all previously issued material will be released. There will be placeholders for future material that will not be released until 2009 or later. That draft may be in a hyperlinked form, which we are assured will be much easier to navigate than the paper/PDF drafts. It was reiterated at the meeting that a print product is also needed. An RDA implementation task force has been created and a program is planned for Annual.
Other CC:DA activities included reports on:
Recent Library of Congress activities by Barbara Tillett
NISO, by Cindy Hepfer, ALA’s new representative
Task Force on Specialist Cataloging Manuals, Mark Scharff – this generated a question as to whether it is appropriate to include manuals based on AACR2 since AACR2 will be obsolete on the publication of RDA, thus rendering the specialist manuals also obsolete.
ALA publishing, by Donald Chatham
MARBI, by Everett Allgood
PCC guidelines on Multiple Character Sets, by Peter Fletcher
CC:DA internal and external communication, by Laura Smart – note that there will soon be a public CC:DA listserv
CCS Executive Committee, by Cheri Folkner